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Skeptics and Deniers of Global Warming. Its not a settled science. Debate continues. 10 part series
Financial Post/National Post ^ | February 02, 2007 | Lawrence Solomon

Posted on 02/09/2007 9:09:59 AM PST by Tolik

10 Part series on critically assessing the claim of global warming. Lawrence Solomon through the works of distinguished scientists demonstrates that contrary to the media accepted verdict that the Global Warming science is settled, its not. The skeptics are called by a dirty word "The Deniers" to illicit a negative analogy with Holocaust Deniers. But the skeptics/Deniers quoted by Lawrence Solomon are all distinguished scientists with curriculum vitae to die for. They may be wrong, as any scientist may be wrong, but theirs is an honest science, not politics. The debate is far from over. Lawrence Solomon himself (as far as I can tell) is not a "right-wing extremist" that can be easily dismissed. Judge by yourself:

Lawrence Solomon, whose column appears every Wednesday in the Financial Post, is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday), which popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s, became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. An advisor to President Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of several books.  - Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute, a division of the Energy Probe Research Foundation.

The series

Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I
Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV

The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X

Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I

Friday, February 02, 2007
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In the global warming debate, there are essentially two broad camps. One believes that the science is settled, that global warming is serious and man-made, and that urgent action must be taken to mitigate or prevent a future calamity. The other believes that the science is far from settled, that precious little is known about global warming or its likely effects, and that prudence dictates more research and caution before intervening massively in the economy.

The "science is settled" camp, much the larger of the two, includes many eminent scientists with impressive credentials. But just who are the global warming skeptics who question the studies from the great majority of climate scientists and what are their motives?

Many in the "science is settled" camp claim that the skeptics are untrustworthy -- that they are either cranks or otherwise at the periphery of their profession, or that they are in the pockets of Exxon or other corporate interests. The skeptics are increasingly being called Deniers, a term used by analogy to the Holocaust, to convey the catastrophe that could befall mankind if action is not taken. Increasingly, too, the press is taking up the Denier theme, convincing the public that the global-warming debate is over.

In this, the first of a series, I examine The Deniers, starting with Edward Wegman. Dr. Wegman is a professor at the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and board member of the American Statistical Association. Few statisticians in the world have CVs to rival his (excerpts appear nearby).

Wegman became involved in the global-warming debate after the energy and commerce committee of the U.S. House of Representatives asked him to assess one of the hottest debates in the global-warming controversy: the statistical validity of work by Michael Mann. You may not have heard of Mann or read Mann's study but you have often heard its famous conclusion: that the temperature increases that we have been experiencing are "likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years" and that the "1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year" of the millennium. You may have also heard of Mann's hockey-stick shaped graph, which showed relatively stable temperatures over most of the last millennium (the hockey stick's long handle), followed by a sharp increase (the hockey stick's blade) this century.

Mann's findings were arguably the single most influential study in swaying the public debate, and in 2001 they became the official view of the International Panel for Climate Change, the UN body that is organizing the worldwide effort to combat global warming. But Mann's work also had its critics, particularly two Canadians, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who published peer-reviewed critiques of their own.

Wegman accepted the energy and commerce committee's assignment, and agreed to assess the Mann controversy pro bono. He conducted his third-party review by assembling an expert panel of statisticians, who also agreed to work pro bono. Wegman also consulted outside statisticians, including the Board of the American Statistical Association. At its conclusion, the Wegman review entirely vindicated the Canadian critics and repudiated Mann's work.

"Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported," Wegman stated, adding that "The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable." When Wegman corrected Mann's statistical mistakes, the hockey stick disappeared.

Wegman found that Mann made a basic error that "may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. We note that there is no evidence that Dr. Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimate studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians." Instead, this small group of climate scientists were working on their own, largely in isolation, and without the academic scrutiny needed to ferret out false assumptions.

Worse, the problem also applied more generally, to the broader climate-change and meteorological community, which also relied on statistical techniques in their studies. "[I]f statistical methods are being used, then statisticians ought to be funded partners engaged in the research to insure as best we possibly can that the best quality science is being done," Wegman recommended, noting that "there are a host of fundamental statistical questions that beg answers in understanding climate dynamics."

In other words, Wegman believes that much of the climate science that has been done should be taken with a grain of salt -- although the studies may have been peer reviewed, the reviewers were often unqualified in statistics. Past studies, he believes, should be reassessed by competent statisticians and in future, the climate science world should do better at incorporating statistical know-how.

One place to start is with the American Meteorological Society, which has a committee on probability and statistics. "I believe it is amazing for a committee whose focus is on statistics and probability that of the nine members only two are also members of the American Statistical Association, the premier statistical association in the United States, and one of those is a recent PhD with an assistant-professor appointment in a medical school." As an example of the statistical barrenness of the climate-change world, Wegman cited the American Meteorological Association's 2006 Conference on Probability and Statistics in the Atmospheric Sciences, where only eight presenters out of 62 were members of the American Statistical Association.

While Wegman's advice -- to use trained statisticians in studies reliant on statistics -- may seem too obvious to need stating, the "science is settled" camp resists it. Mann's hockey-stick graph may be wrong, many experts now acknowledge, but they assert that he nevertheless came to the right conclusion.

To which Wegman, and doubtless others who want more rigorous science, shake their heads in disbelief. As Wegman summed it up to the energy and commerce committee in later testimony: "I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn't matter because the answer is correct anyway. Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science." With bad science, only true believers can assert that they nevertheless obtained the right answer.


Edward Wegman received his Ph.D. degree in mathematical statistics from the University of Iowa. In 1978, he went to the Office of Naval Research, where he headed the Mathematical Sciences Division with responsibility Navy-wide for basic research programs. He coined the phrase computational statistics, and developed a high-profile research area around this concept, which focused on techniques and methodologies that could not be achieved without the capabilities of modern computing resources and led to a revolution in contemporary statistical graphics. Dr. Wegman was the original program director of the basic research program in Ultra High Speed Computing at the Strategic Defense Initiative's Innovative Science and Technology Office. He has served as editor or associate editor of numerous prestigious journals and has published more than 160 papers and eight books.

Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II

February 02, 2007

One month ago, the world heard that global warming could lead to a global catastrophe "on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century." This assessment, from Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, made banner headlines and led prominent leaders such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair to urge immediate action to stem global warming.

It also led some prominent environmentalists to denounce Sir Nicholas for what they deemed an outrageous study bereft of credibility. None of the environmentalists issued a stronger denunciation, or has better environmental credentials, than Richard S.J. Tol.

Tol is a Denier, to use the terminology of the "science-is-settled" camp in the increasingly polarized global warming debate. Like many other Deniers, Tol doesn't think the evidence is in on global warming and its effects, he doesn't think there's reason to rush to action, and he doesn't think that crash programs to curb global warming are called for.

Also like many other Deniers, he doesn't fit the stereotype that those who use the epithet imagine. Anything but.

Tol is no fringe outsider to the scientific debate. He is at the centre of the academic investigation of global warming, a central figure in the scientific establishment that has been developing the models and the knowledge to understand the global warming phenomenon. At the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, considered by most the authoritative body in the field, Tol is involved as an author in all three of its Working Groups. He is also an author and editor of the United Nations Handbook on Methods for Climate Change Impact Assessment and Adaptation Strategies. He is also a mover and shaker in the prestigious European Climate Forum. He takes global warming seriously and has dedicated his professional life to making a contribution for the better in climate policy and related fields.

Because of his immense reputation, the Stern report itself relied on Tol's work in coming to its conclusions. But Sir Nicholas twisted Tol's work out of shape to arrive at unsupportable conclusions.

As one example, Sir Nicholas plucked a figure ($29 per ton of carbon dioxide) from a range that Tol prepared describing the possible costs of CO2 emissions, without divulging that in the very same study Tol concluded that the actual costs "are likely to be substantially smaller" than $14 per ton of CO2. Likewise, in an assessment of the potential consequences of rising sea levels, Sir Nicholas quoted a study co-authored by Tol that referred to the "millions at risk," ignoring that the same study then suggested greatly reduced consequences for those millions due to the ability of humans to adapt to change.

Throughout his report, in fact, Sir Nicholas not only assumed worst possible cases, he also assumed that humans are passive creatures, devoid of ingenuity, who would be helpless victims to changes in the world around them. Such assumptions underpinned Sir Nicholas's claim that "the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever," and led Tol to view Sir Nicholas's conclusions as "preposterous." Tol's conclusion: "The Stern review can therefore be dismissed as alarmist and incompetent."

Tol and Sir Nicholas are worlds apart, and not just because of Sir Nicholas's recklessness with the facts. Where Sir Nicholas paints an altogether bleak picture, Tol's is far more nuanced: Global warming creates benefits as well as harms, he explains, and in the short term, the benefits are especially pronounced.

More important, Tol is a student of human innovation and adaptation. As a native of the Netherlands, he is intimately familiar with dikes and other low-cost adaptive technologies, and the ability of humans in meeting challenges in their environment. To assume that humans in the future would not use their ingenuity and resourcefulness in sensible ways defies the history of mankind and ultimately serves no one.

Yes, global warming is real, he believes, and yes, measures to mitigate it should be taken. But unlike the advocates who believe that the science is settled, and the global warning debate is over, Tol thinks that much research needs to be done before we know how best to respond.

"There is no risk of damage [from global warming] that would force us to act injudiciously," he explains. "We've got enough time to look for the economically most effective options, rather than dash into 'actionism,' which then becomes very expensive."


Richard Tol received his PhD in Economics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He is Michael Otto Professor of Sustainability and Global Change at Hamburg University, director of the Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Science, principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a board member of the Centre for Marine and Climate Research, the International Max Planck Research Schools of Earth Systems Modelling and Maritime Affairs, and the European Forum on Integrated Environmental Assessment. He is an editor of Energy Economics, an associate editor of Environmental and Resource Economics, and a member of the editorial board of Environmental Science and Policy and Integrated Assessment.

The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III

December 8, 2006

You're a respected scientist, one of the best in your field. So respected, in fact, that when the United Nations decided to study the relationship between hurricanes and global warming for the largest scientific endeavour in its history -- its International Panel on Climate Change -- it called upon you and your expertise.

You are Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory. You were a contributing author for the UN's second International Panel on Climate Change in 1995, writing the sections on observed changes in tropical cyclones around the world. Then the IPCC called on you as a contributing author once more, for its "Third Assessment Report" in 2001. And you were invited to participate yet again, when the IPCC called on you to be an author in the "Fourth Assessment Report." This report would specifically focus on Atlantic hurricanes, your specialty, and be published by the IPCC in 2007.

Then something went horribly wrong. Within days of this last invitation, in October, 2004, you discovered that the IPCC's Kevin Trenberth -- the very person who had invited you -- was participating in a press conference. The title of the press conference perplexed you: "Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity." This was some kind of mistake, you were certain. You had not done any work that substantiated this claim. Nobody had.

As perplexing, none of the participants in that press conference were known for their hurricane expertise. In fact, to your knowledge, none had performed any research at all on hurricane variability, the subject of the press conference. Neither were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability, you knew, showed no reliable upward trend in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. Not in the Atlantic basin. Not in any other basin.

To add to the utter incomprehensibility of the press conference, the IPCC itself, in both 1995 and 2001, had found no global warming signal in the hurricane record. And until your new work would come out, in 2007, the IPCC would not have a new analysis on which to base a change of findings.

To stop the press conference, or at least stop any misunderstandings that might come out of it, you contacted Dr. Trenberth prior to the media event. You prepared a synopsis for him that brought him up to date on the state of knowledge about hurricane formation. To your amazement, he simply dismissed your concerns. The press conference proceeded.

And what a press conference it was! Hurricanes had been all over the news that summer. Global warming was the obvious culprit -- only a fool or an oil-industry lobbyist, the press made clear, could ignore the link between what seemed to be ever increasing hurricane activity and ever increasing global warming. The press conference didn't disappoint them. The climate change experts at hand all confirmed the news that the public had been primed to hear: Global warming was causing hurricanes. This judgement from the scientists made headlines around the world, just as it was intended to do. What better way to cast global warming as catastrophic than to make hurricanes its poster child?

You wanted to right this outrageous wrong, this mockery that was made of your scientific field. You wrote top IPCC officials, imploring: "Where is the science, the refereed publications, that substantiate these pronouncements? What studies are being alluded to that have shown a connection between observed warming trends on the earth and long-term trends in tropical cyclone activity? As far as I know, there are none." But no one in the IPCC leadership showed the slightest concern for the science. The IPCC's overriding preoccupation, it soon sunk in, lay in capitalizing on the publicity opportunity that the hurricane season presented.

You then asked the IPCC leadership for assurances that your work for the IPCC's 2007 report would be true to science: "[Dr. Trenberth] seems to have already come to the conclusion that global warming has altered hurricane activity and has publicly stated so. This does not reflect the consensus within the hurricane research community. ... Thus I would like assurance that what will be included in the IPCC report will reflect the best available information and the consensus within the scientific community most expert on the specific topic."

The assurance didn't come. What did come was the realization that the IPCC was corrupting science. This you could not be a party to. You then resigned, in an open letter to the scientific community laying out your reasons.

Next year, the IPCC will come out with its "Fourth Assessment Report," and for the first time in a decade, you will not be writing its section on hurricanes. That task will be left to the successor that Dr. Trenberth chose. As part of his responsibility, he will need to explain why -- despite all expectations -- the 2006 hurricane year was so unexpectedly light, and at the historical average for the past 150 years.


Christopher Landsea received his doctoral degree in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. A research meteorologist at the Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he was chair of the American Meteorological Society's committee on tropical meteorology and tropical cyclones and a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Banner I. Miller Award for the "best contribution to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting." He is a frequent contributor to leading journals, including Science, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Journal of Climate, and Nature.

Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV

December 15, 2006

A great melt is on in Antarctica. Its northern peninsula -- a jut of land extending to about 1,200 kilometres from Chile -- has seen a drastic increase in temperature, a thinning of ice sheets and, most alarmingly, a collapse of ice shelves. The Larsen A ice shelf, 1,600 square kilometres in size, fell off in 1995. The Wilkins ice shelf, 1,100 square kilometres, fell off in 1998 and the Larsen B, 13,500 square kilometres, dropped off in 2002. Meanwhile, the northern Antarctic Peninsula's temperatures have soared by six degrees celsius in the last 50 years.

Antarctica represents the greatest threat to the globe from global warming, bar none. If Antarctica's ice melts, the world's oceans will rise, flooding low-lying lands where much of the world's population lives. Not only would their mass migration spawn hardships for the individual families retreating from the rising waters, the world would also be losing fertile deltas that feed tens of millions of people. This chilling scenario understandably sends shudders through concerned citizens around the world, and steels the resolve of those determined to stop the cataclysm of global warming.

But much confounding evidence exists. As one example, at the South Pole, where the U.S. decades ago established a station, temperatures have actually fallen since 1957. Neither is Antarctica's advance or retreat a new question raised by the spectre of global warming: This is the oldest scientific question of all about the Antarctic ice sheet.

Enter Duncan Wingham, Professor of Climate Physics at University College London and Director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling. Dr. Wingham has been pursuing this polar puzzle for much of his professional life and, but for an accident in space, he might have had the answer at hand by now.

Dr. Wingham is Principal Scientist of the European Space Agency's CryoSat Satellite Mission, a $130-million project designed to map changes in the depth of ice using ultra-precise instrumentation. Sadly for Dr. Wingham and for science as a whole, CryoSat fell into the Arctic Ocean after its launch in October, 2005, when a rocket launcher malfunctioned. Dr Wingham will now need to wait until 2009 before CryoSat-2, CryoSat's even more precise successor, can launch and begin relaying the data that should conclusively determine whether Antarctica's ice sheets are thinning or not. Apart from satellite technology, no known way exists to reliably determine changes in mass over a vast and essentially unexplorable continent covered in ice several kilometres thick.

But CryoSat was not the only satellite available to polar scientists. Dr. Wingham has been collecting satellite data for years, and arriving at startling conclusions. Early last year at a European Union Space Conference in Brussels, for example, Dr. Wingham revealed that data from a European Space Agency satellite showed Antarctic thinning was no more common than thickening, and concluded that the spectacular collapse of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula was much more likely to have followed natural current fluctuations than global warming.

"The Antarctic Peninsula is exceptional because it juts out so far north," Dr. Wingham told the press at the time. As well, scientists have been drawn to the peninsula because it is relatively accessible and its climate is moderate, allowing it to be more easily studied than the harsh interior of the continent. Because many scientists have been preoccupied with what was, in effect, the tip of the iceberg, they missed the mass of evidence that lay beneath the surface.

"One cannot be certain, because packets of heat in the atmosphere do not come conveniently labelled 'the contribution of anthropogenic warming,' " Dr. Wingham elaborated, but the evidence is not "favourable to the notion we are seeing the results of global warming".

Last summer, Dr. Wingham and three colleagues published an article in the journal of the Royal Society that casts further doubt on the notion that global warming is adversely affecting Antarctica. By studying satellite data from 1992 to 2003 that surveyed 85% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and 51% of the West Antarctic ice sheet (72% of the ice sheet covering the entire land mass), they discovered that the Antarctic ice sheet is growing at the rate of 5 millimetres per year (plus or minus 1 mm per year). That makes Antarctica a sink, not a source, of ocean water. According to their best estimates, Antarctica will "lower [authors' italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm" per year.

If these findings are validated in future by CryoSat-2 and other developments that are able to assess the 28% of Antarctica not yet surveyed, the low-lying areas of the world will have weathered the worst of the global warming predictions: The populations of these areas -- in Bangladesh, in the Maldives, and elsewhere -- will have found that, if anything, they can look forward to a future with more nutrient-rich seacoast, not less.


Duncan Wingham was educated at Leeds and Bath Universities where he gained a B.Sc. and PhD. in Physics. He was appointed to a chair in the Department of Space and Climate Physics in 1996, and to head of the Department of Earth Sciences in October, 2005. Prof. Wingham is a member of the National Environmental Research Council's Science and Technology Board and Earth Observation Experts Group. He is a director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling and principal scientist of the European Space Agency CryoSat Satellite Mission, the first ESA Earth Sciences satellite selected through open, scientific competition.

The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V

December 22, 2006

Most scientists who are labelled as "deniers" for their views on global warming don't embrace this role. They cringe at the thought of disagreeing with colleagues who think that the science is settled, they do their best to avoid making waves, and they fear being marginalized as cranks who disagree with the scientific consensus. Dr. Richard Lindzen is an exception.

Dr. Lindzen is one of the original deniers -- among the first to criticize the scientific bureaucracy, and scientists themselves, for claims about global warming that he views as unfounded and alarmist. While he does not welcome the role he's acquired, he also does not shrink from it. Dr. Lindzen takes his protests about the abuse of science to the public, to the press, and to government.

His detractors can't dismiss him as a crank from the fringe, however, much as they might wish. Dr. Lindzen is a critic from within, one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world: a past professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a lead author in a landmark report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the very organization that established global warming as an issue of paramount importance.

Dr. Lindzen is proud of his contribution, and that of his colleagues, to the IPCC chapter they worked on. His pride in this work matches his dismay at seeing it misrepresented. "[Almost all reading and coverage of the IPCC is restricted to the highly publicized Summaries for Policymakers which are written by representatives from governments, NGOs and business; the full reports, written by participating scientists, are largely ignored," he told the United States Senate committee on environment and public works in 2001. These unscientific summaries, often written to further political or business agendas, then become the basis of public understanding.

As an example, Dr. Lindzen provided the committee with the summary that was created for Chapter 7, which he worked on. "Understanding of climate processes and their incorporation in climate models have improved, including water vapour, sea-ice dynamics, and ocean heat transport," the summary stated, creating the impression that the climate models were reliable. The actual report by the scientists indicated just the opposite. Dr. Lindzen testified that the scientists had "found numerous problems with model treatments -- including those of clouds and water vapor."

When the IPCC was stung by criticism that the summaries were being written with little or no input by the scientists themselves, the IPCC had a subset of the scientists review a subsequent draft summary -- an improvement in the process. Except that the final version, when later released at a Shanghai press conference, had surprising changes to the draft that scientists had seen.

The version that emerged from Shanghai concludes, "In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations." Yet the draft was rife with qualifiers making it clear the science was very much in doubt because "the accuracy of these estimates continues to be limited by uncertainties in estimates of internal variability, natural and anthropogenic forcing, and the climate response to external forcing."

The summaries' distortion of the IPCC chapters compounds another distortion that occurred in the very writing of the scientific chapters themselves. Dr. Lindzen's description of the conditions under which the climate scientists worked conjures up a scene worthy of a totalitarian state: "throughout the drafting sessions, IPCC 'coordinators' would go around insisting that criticism of models be toned down, and that 'motherhood' statements be inserted to the effect that models might still be correct despite the cited faults. Refusals were occasionally met with ad hominem attacks. I personally witnessed coauthors forced to assert their 'green' credentials in defense of their statements."

To better understand the issue of climate change, including the controversies over the IPCC summary documents, the White House asked the National Academy of Sciences, the country's premier scientific organization, to assemble a panel on climate change. The 11 members of the panel, which included Richard Lindzen, concluded that the science is far from settled: "Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward)."

The press's spin on the NAS report? CNN, in language typical of other reportage, stated that it represented "a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man. There is no wiggle room."

Despite such obtuseness Lindzen fights on, defending the science at what is undoubtedly a very considerable personal cost. Those who toe the party line are publicly praised and have grants ladled out to them from a funding pot that overflows with US$1.7-billion per year in the U.S. alone. As Lindzen wrote earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal, "there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis."


Richard Lindzen received his PhD in applied mathematics in 1964 from Harvard University. A professor of meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He is also a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMS's Meisinger, and Charney Awards, and AGU's Macelwane Medal. He is author or coauthor of over 200 scholarly papers and books.

The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI

January 5, 2007

Man produces greenhouse gases and greenhouse gases cause global warming, most scientists agree, but how, exactly, do greenhouse gases cause global warming? While theories abound, as do elaborate computer models incorporating a multitude of gases and other climatic factors, none has been conclusive. And if greenhouse gases aren't responsible, what else could be? A clear, verifiable mechanism showing how a greenhouse gas or other physical entity can drive climate change has eluded science. Until now.

For more than a decade, Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center has been pursuing an explanation for why Earth cools and warms. His findings -- published in October in the Proceedings of the Royal Society -- the mathematical, physical sciences and engineering journal of the Royal Society of London -- are now in, and they don't point to us. The sun and the stars could explain most if not all of the warming this century, and he has laboratory results to demonstrate it. Dr. Svensmark's study had its origins in 1996, when he and a colleague presented findings at a scientific conference indicating that changes in the sun's magnetic field -- quite apart from greenhouse gases -- could be related to the recent rise in global temperatures. The chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change, the chief agency investigating global warming, then castigated them in the press, saying, "I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible." Others accused them of denouncing the greenhouse theory, something they had not done.

Svensmark and his colleague had arrived at their theory after examining data that showed a surprisingly strong correlation between cosmic rays --highspeed atomic particles originating in exploded stars in the Milky Way -- and low-altitude clouds. Earth's cloud cover increased when the intensity of cosmic rays grew and decreased when the intensity declined.

Low-altitude clouds are significant because they especially shield the Earth from the sun to keep us cool. Low cloud cover can vary by 2% in five years, affecting the Earth's surface by as much as 1.2 watts per square metre during that same period. "That figure can be compared with about 1.4 watts per square metre estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the greenhouse effect of all the increase in carbon dioxide in the air since the Industrial Revolution," Dr. Svensmark explained.

The Danish scientists put together several well-established scientific phenomena to arrive at their novel 1996 theory. The sun's magnetic field deflects some of the cosmic rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, and in so doing it also limits the immense amounts of ions and free electrons that the cosmic rays produce. But something had changed in the 20th century: The sun's magnetic field more than doubled in strength, deflecting an extraordinary number of rays. Could the diminution of cosmic rays this century have limited the formation of clouds, making the Earth warmer?

That was a plausible theory. But exactly how cosmic rays might create clouds was a mystery -- an unprovable theory, many said. Some even claimed that it was inconceivable for cosmic rays to influence cloud cover.

To discover a mechanism, a team at the Danish National Space Center assembled by Dr. Svensmark undertook an elaborate laboratory experiment in a reaction chamber the size of a small room. The team duplicated the chemistry of the lower atmosphere by injecting the gases found there in the same proportions, and adding ultraviolet rays to mimic the actions of the sun.

What they found left them agape: A vast number of floating microscopic droplets soon filled the reaction chamber. These were ultra-small clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules -- the building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei-- that had been catalyzed by the electrons released by cosmic rays.

We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with which the electrons do their work," Dr. Svensmark remarked. For the first time ever, researchers had experimentally identified a causal mechanism by which cosmic rays can facilitate the production of clouds in Earth's atmosphere. "This is a completely new result within climate science."

Dr. Svensmark has never disputed the existence of greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect. To the contrary, he believes that an understanding of the sun's role is needed to learn the full story, and thus determine man's role. Not only does no climate model today consider the effect of cosmic particles, but even clouds are too poorly understood to be incorporated into any serious climate model.

Because of the work of Dr. Svensmark, other agencies are now building on the Danish findings. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, has just started a multi-phase project that begins with a rerun of the Danish experiment, only CERN will use an accelerator rather than relying on natural cosmic rays. This multinational project will provide scientists with a permanent facility for studying effects of cosmic rays and charged particles in the Earth's atmosphere.

The clouds may be lifting on scientific inquiry into climate change.


Henrik Svensmark is director of the Centre for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute (DSRI). Previously, Dr. Svensmark was head of the sunclimate group at DSRI. He has held post doctoral positions in physics at University California Berkeley, Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics, and the Niels Bohr Institute. In 1997, Dr Svensmark received the Knud Hojgaard Anniversary Research Prize and in 2001 the Energy-E2 Research Prize.

Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII

January 12, 2007

The science is settled" on climate change, say most scientists in the field. They believe that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are heating the globe to dangerous levels and that, in the coming decades, steadily increasing temperatures will melt the polar ice caps and flood the world's low-lying coastal areas.

Don't tell that to Nigel Weiss, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, past President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a scientist as honoured as they come. The science is anything but settled, he observes, except for one virtual certainty: The world is about to enter a cooling period.

Dr. Weiss believes that man-made greenhouse gases have recently had a role in warming the earth, although the extent of that role, he says, cannot yet be known. What is known, however, is that throughout earth's history climate change has been driven by factors other than man: "Variable behaviour of the sun is an obvious explanation," says Dr. Weiss, "and there is increasing evidence that Earth's climate responds to changing patterns of solar magnetic activity."
The sun's most obvious magnetic features are sunspots, formed as magnetic fields rip through the sun's surface. A magnetically active sun boosts the number of sunspots, indicating that vast amounts of energy are being released from deep within.

Typically, sunspots flare up and settle down in cycles of about 11 years. In the last 50 years, we haven't been living in typical times: "If you look back into the sun's past, you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity," Dr. Weiss states.

These hyperactive periods do not last long, "perhaps 50 to 100 years, then you get a crash," says Dr. Weiss. 'It's a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon."

In addition to the 11-year cycle, sunspots almost entirely "crash," or die out, every 200 years or so as solar activity diminishes. When the crash occurs, the Earth can cool dramatically. Dr. Weiss knows because these phenomenon, known as "Grand minima," have recurred over the past 10,000 years, if not longer.

"The deeper the crash, the longer it will last," Dr. Weiss explains. In the 17th century, sunspots almost completely disappeared for 70 years. That was the coldest interval of the Little Ice Age, when New York Harbour froze, allowing walkers to journey from Manhattan to Staten Island, and when Viking colonies abandoned Greenland, a once verdant land that became tundra. Also in the Little Ice Age, Finland lost one-third of its population, Iceland half.

The previous cooling period lasted 150 years while a minor crash at the beginning of the 19th century was accompanied by a cooling period that lasted only 30 years.

In contrast, when the sun is very active, such as the period we're now in, the Earth can warm dramatically. This was the case during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings first colonized Greenland and when Britain was wine-growing country.

No one knows precisely when a crash will occur but some expect it soon, because the sun's polar field is now at its weakest since measurements began in the early 1950s. Some predict the crash within five years, and many speculate about its effect on global warming. A mild crash could be beneficial, in giving us Earthlings the decades needed to reverse our greenhouse gas producing ways. Others speculate that the recent global warming may be a blessing in disguise, big-time, by moderating the negative consequences of what might otherwise be a deep chill following a deep crash. During the Little Ice Age, scientists estimate, global temperatures on average may have dropped by less than 1 degree Celsius, showing the potential consequences of even an apparently small decline.

Dr. Weiss prefers not to speculate. He sees the coming crash as an opportunity to obtain the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions on climate change, and the extent to which man-made emissions have been a factor.

"Having a crash would certainly allow us to pin down the sun's true level of influence on the Earth's climate," concludes Dr. Weiss. Then we will be able to act on fact, rather than from fear.


Nigel Weiss, professor emeritus of mathematical astrophysics in the University of Cambridge, discovered the process of "flux expulsion" by which a conducting fluid undergoing rotating motion acts to expel the magnetic flux from the region of motion, a process now known to occur in the photosphere of the sun and other stars. He is also distinguished for his work on the theory of convection, and for precise numerical experiments on the behaviour of complicated non-linear differential equations. Nigel Weiss is a recipient of a Royal Society Citation, he is a past President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a past Chairman of Cambridge's School of Physical Sciences. He was educated at Clare College, University of Cambridge.

The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII

January 19, 2007

When Frans Nieuwstadt, a distinguished Dutch meteorologist, engineer, editor and professor, died in 2005, his obituary recounted seminal events in his accomplished life. Among the experiences worthy of mention: Nieuwstadt had studied under the celebrated professor, Henk Tennekes, and along with other colleagues had been instrumental in convincing Tennekes to return to Europe in 1978 to become director of research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and later chairman of the august Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

Henk Tennekes, in ways both personal and professional, has touched an extraordinary number of lives in his own distinguished career, among academics and laymen alike. He is loved for his popular 1997 book, The Simple Science of Flight From Insects to Jumbo Jets, and for his scholarly 1972 work, A First Course in Turbulence, a classic that logs more than 2,000 citations on Google Scholar. His provocative 1986 speech, "No Forecast Is Complete Without A Forecast of Forecast Skill," led to the now-common discipline of "ensemble forecasting" and spurred "multi-model forecasting." Scientists today continue to wrestle with the fundamental critiques that he first presented.

Tennekes became more than an inspiration for his students and a model for other scientists, however. He also became an object lesson in the limits of scientific inquiry. Because his critiques of climate science ran afoul of the orthodoxy required by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, he was forced to leave. Lesser scientists, seeing that even a man of Tennekes's reputation was not free to voice dissent, learned their lesson. Ever since, most scientists who harbour doubts about climate science bite their tongues and keep their heads down.

Tennekes, more than any other individual, challenged the models that climate scientists were constructing, saying models could never replicate the complexity of the real world. What was needed was a different approach to science, one that recognized inherent limits in such scientific tools and aimed less to regulate the environment.

In a landmark speech to the American Meteorological Society in 1986, he argued that meteorology was poised to be the first of the post- Newtonian sciences because it was "at odds with the mainstream of the scientific enterprise of the last 300 years. One goal of science is to control nature, but we know we cannot control the weather. The goal of science is prediction, but we stand in front of the limits of predictability."

Meteorology, in other words, would be the first scientific discipline to hit this brick wall. As Tennekes argued, modern theory "unequivocally predicts that no amount of improvement in the quality of the observation network or in the power of computers will improve the average useful forecast range by more than a few days."

Since Tennekes' speech, a host of scientists have sought to extend the bounds of modelling. They have seen success, but only on the scale Tennekes predicted.

In a paper presented in 2003, a team of European scientists detailed advances in modelling science. "Since the day, almost 20 years ago, in which Henk Tennekes stated … that 'no forecast is complete without a forecast of the forecast skill,' the demand for numerical forecasting tools ... has been ever increasing," they said, explaining efforts to make modelling reliable beyond a three- to four-day period. Thanks to the intense efforts of a new generation of climate modellers, modelling capability has advanced in some instances by 12 to 36 hours, in others by several days. To extend the bounds further, the paper announced a major new research initiative, designed to bring the forecasting discipline to the 120-hour range.

Climate modelling is the basis of forecasts of climate change. Yet this modelling, Tennekes believes, has little utility, and "there is no chance at all that the physical sciences can produce a universally accepted scientific basis for policy measures concerning climate change." Moreover, he states: "There exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies."

Not surprisingly, Tennekes abhors the dogma that he feels characterizes the climate-change establishment, and the untoward role of climate science in public-policy making. "We only understand 10% of the climate issue. That is not enough to wreck the world economy with Kyoto-like measures."


Hendrik Tennekes is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He studied aeronautical design at TU Delft in the Netherlands and was a professor of aerospace engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, a professor of meteorology at the Free University, Amsterdam, and director of research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Born in 1936, he still lectures at the University of Nijmegen.

Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX

January 26, 2007

Climate change is a much, much bigger issue than the public, politicians, and even the most alarmed environmentalists realize. Global warming extends to Mars, where the polar ice cap is shrinking, where deep gullies in the landscape are now laid bare, and where the climate is the warmest it has been in decades or centuries.

"One explanation could be that Mars is just coming out of an ice age," NASA scientist William Feldman speculated after the agency's Mars Odyssey completed its first Martian year of data collection. "In some low-latitude areas, the ice has already dissipated." With each passing year more and more evidence arises of the dramatic changes occurring on the only planet on the solar system, apart from Earth, to give up its climate secrets.

NASA's findings in space come as no surprise to Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov at Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. Pulkovo -- at the pinnacle of Russia's space-oriented scientific establishment -- is one of the world's best equipped observatories and has been since its founding in 1839. Heading Pulkovo's space research laboratory is Dr. Abdussamatov, one of the world's chief critics of the theory that man-made carbon dioxide emissions create a greenhouse effect, leading to global warming.

"Mars has global warming, but without a greenhouse and without the participation of Martians," he told me. "These parallel global warmings -- observed simultaneously on Mars and on Earth -- can only be a straightline consequence of the effect of the one same factor: a long-time change in solar irradiance."

The sun's increased irradiance over the last century, not C02 emissions, is responsible for the global warming we're seeing, says the celebrated scientist, and this solar irradiance also explains the great volume of C02 emissions.

"It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth's oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

Dr. Abdussamatov goes further, debunking the very notion of a greenhouse effect. "Ascribing 'greenhouse' effect properties to the Earth's atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated," he maintains. "Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."

The real news from Saint Petersburg -- demonstrated by cooling that is occurring on the upper layers of the world's oceans -- is that Earth has hit its temperature ceiling. Solar irradiance has begun to fall, ushering in a protracted cooling period beginning in 2012 to 2015. The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2040, and "will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60" lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.

Because of the scientific significance of this period of global cooling that we're about to enter, the Russian and Ukrainian space agencies, under Dr. Abdussamatov's leadership, have launched a joint project to determine the time and extent of the global cooling at mid-century. The project, dubbed Astrometry and given priority space-experiment status on the Russian portion of the International Space Station, will marshal the resources of spacecraft manufacturer Energia, several Russian research and production centers, and the main observatory of Ukraine's Academy of Sciences. By late next year, scientific equipment will have been installed in a space-station module and by early 2009, Dr. Abdussamatov's space team will be conducting a regular survey of the sun.

With the data, the project will help mankind cope with a century of falling temperatures, during which we will enter a mini ice age.

"There is no need for the Kyoto Protocol now. It does not have to come into force until at least 100 years from no w," Dr. Abdussamatov concluded. "A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse- gas emissions."


Habibullo Abdussamatov, born in Samarkand in Uzbekistan in 1940, graduated from Samarkand University in 1962 as a physicist and a mathematician. He earned his doctorate at Pulkovo Observatory and the University of Leningrad.

He is the head of the space research laboratory of the Russian Academies of Sciences' Pulkovo Observatory and of the International Space Station's Astrometry project, a long-term joint scientific research project of the Russian and Ukrainian space agencies.

Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X

Published: Friday, February 02, 2007

Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel's top young scientists, describes the logic that led him -- and most everyone else -- to conclude that SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming.

Step One Scientists for decades have postulated that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases could lead to a greenhouse effect.

Step Two As if on cue, the temperature rose over the course of the 20th century while greenhouse gases proliferated due to human activities.

Step Three No other mechanism explains the warming. Without another candidate, greenhouses gases necessarily became the cause

Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views. He has recanted: "Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.

"In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."

Dr. Shariv's digging led him to the surprising discovery that there is no concrete evidence -- only speculation -- that man-made greenhouse gases cause global warming. Even research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-- the United Nations agency that heads the worldwide effort to combat global warming -- is bereft of anything here inspiring confidence. In fact, according to the IPCC's own findings, man's role is so uncertain that there is a strong possibility that we have been cooling, not warming, the Earth. Unfortunately, our tools are too crude to reveal what man's effect has been in the past, let alone predict how much warming or cooling we might cause in the future.

All we have on which to pin the blame on greenhouse gases, says Dr. Shaviv, is "incriminating circumstantial evidence," which explains why climate scientists speak in terms of finding "evidence of fingerprints." Circumstantial evidence might be a fine basis on which to justify reducing greenhouse gases, he adds, "without other 'suspects.' " However, Dr. Shaviv not only believes there are credible "other suspects," he believes that at least one provides a superior explanation for the 20th century's warming.

"Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming," he states, particularly because of the evidence that has been accumulating over the past decade of the strong relationship that cosmic- ray flux has on our atmosphere. So much evidence has by now been amassed, in fact, that "it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist."

The sun's strong role indicates that greenhouse gases can't have much of an influence on the climate -- that C02 et al. don't dominate through some kind of leveraging effect that makes them especially potent drivers of climate change. The upshot of the Earth not being unduly sensitive to greenhouse gases is that neither increases nor cutbacks in future C02 emissions will matter much in terms of the climate.

Even doubling the amount of CO2 by 2100, for example, "will not dramatically increase the global temperature," Dr. Shaviv states. Put another way: "Even if we halved the CO2 output, and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50% increase relative to today instead of a doubled amount, the expected reduction in the rise of global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant."

The evidence from astrophysicists and cosmologists in laboratories around the world, on the other hand, could well be significant. In his study of meteorites, published in the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, Dr. Shaviv found that the meteorites that Earth collected during its passage through the arms of the Milky Way sustained up to 10% more cosmic ray damage than others. That kind of cosmic ray variation, Dr. Shaviv believes, could alter global temperatures by as much as 15% --sufficient to turn the ice ages on or off and evidence of the extent to which cosmic forces influence Earth's climate.

In another study, directly relevant to today's climate controversy, Dr. Shaviv reconstructed the temperature on Earth over the past 550 million years to find that cosmic ray flux variations explain more than two-thirds of Earth's temperature variance, making it the most dominant climate driver over geological time scales. The study also found that an upper limit can be placed on the relative role of CO2 as a climate driver, meaning that a large fraction of the global warming witnessed over the past century could not be due to CO2 -- instead it is attributable to the increased solar activity.

CO2 does play a role in climate, Dr. Shaviv believes, but a secondary role, one too small to preoccupy policymakers. Yet Dr. Shaviv also believes fossil fuels should be controlled, not because of their adverse affects on climate but to curb pollution.

"I am therefore in favour of developing cheap alternatives such as solar power, wind, and of course fusion reactors (converting Deuterium into Helium), which we should have in a few decades, but this is an altogether different issue." His conclusion: "I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go."


Nir Shaviv, an associate professor at the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received his doctorate from the Israel Institute of Technology in 1996. Since then, he has authored or co-authored some three dozen peer-reviewed studies and presented papers at some two dozen conferences. The Smithsonian/ NASA Astrophysics Data System credits his works with a total of 613 citations. Among his prizes is the Beatrice Tremaine Award from the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

Background Sources - Climate change

Stern Review: the economics of climate change, executive summary  by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economics Service (U.K.)
Climate change presents a unique challenge for economics: it is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen. October 30/2006

Global warming effects faster than feared – experts  by Maggie Fox
Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity. Reuters  October 21/2006

Climate change theory (2): the testimony of Edward J. Wegman   by House Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives
'Hockey Stick' global climate reconstruction. July 27/2006

Climate change theory: the testimony of Edward J. Wegman  by House Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives
A third-party review of Dr. Mann's controversial climate change claims and the counter-claims to his findings by Drs. McIntyre and McKitrick: two independent analyses of the situation, from quite different perspectives. July 27/2006

Subcommittee announces witnesses for hearing on climate change theory  by Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives
NAS Panel Chairman, von Storch, McIntyre expected to testify. July 18/2006

Ad hoc committee report on the 'hockey stick' global climate reconstruction, executive summary  by Edward J. Wegman, David W. Scott, Yasmin H. Said
This report concerns the rise in global temperatures, specifically during the 1990s. July 14/2006

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: climatechange; deniers; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; lawrencesolomon
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1 posted on 02/09/2007 9:10:07 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...
Long but very informative read for your weekend pleasure

Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 02/09/2007 9:11:25 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; Mrs. Don-o; RW_Whacko; honolulugal; SideoutFred; ...

FReepmail me to get on or off

3 posted on 02/09/2007 9:11:34 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Tolik

I have read a couple of them and they were very well done. Thanks for posting them all, I will have to bookmark.

4 posted on 02/09/2007 9:11:42 AM PST by Always Right
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To: xcamel; DaveLoneRanger


5 posted on 02/09/2007 9:13:04 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

First of all, Globall Warming is a facet of the Religion of Environmentalism, Gaia Earth-Mother Worship. AlGore is the Prophet. If you deny the message you are a HERETIC! You must be silenced! You and all like you are a danger to the Holy Mother Earth! ........

6 posted on 02/09/2007 9:15:44 AM PST by Red Badger (Rachel Carson is responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler...............)
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To: Tolik


7 posted on 02/09/2007 9:19:48 AM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Tolik


Our local paper had a story this morning about a Penn State professor, Richard Alley, tesifying before Congress. His position was something to the effect that it is "table poundingly clear" that humans were responsible for global warming.

During his testemony, Alley compared the melting polar ice cap to a large glob of pancake batter dripping down the globe. Apparently, the Congressmen were amused by this.

At no point, either in the news story or, apparently, in his testemony, did he offer evidence or reasoning as to why one would attribute this melting to humans and not, say, to the sun or simple natural variation over time.

If it is so clear that humans, and not solar activity, is responsible for warming, then it shouldn't be so difficult to provide and describe the results of "tests" that show this. But they never provide such evidence. Instead, they simply use an argument of intimidation.

8 posted on 02/09/2007 9:20:26 AM PST by zook (America going insane - "Do you read Sutter Caine?)
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To: Tolik
In the global warming debate, there are essentially two broad camps. One believes that the science is settled, that global warming is serious and man-made, and that urgent action must be taken to mitigate or prevent a future calamity.

I count that as three, and it's a crucial distinction; by combining all three, the hysteria-salesmen make reasoned debate impossible.

9 posted on 02/09/2007 9:22:22 AM PST by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Tolik
As an example, Dr. Lindzen provided the committee with the summary that was created for Chapter 7, which he worked on. "Understanding of climate processes and their incorporation in climate models have improved, including water vapour, sea-ice dynamics, and ocean heat transport," the summary stated, creating the impression that the climate models were reliable. The actual report by the scientists indicated just the opposite. Dr. Lindzen testified that the scientists had "found numerous problems with model treatments -- including those of clouds and water vapor."

Reminds me of that scene from "The Pentagon Wars" where General Partridge's aide was rewriting Lt. Colonel Burton's scathing report.

10 posted on 02/09/2007 9:28:04 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Prevent Glo-Ball Warming ... turn out the sun when not in use)
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To: Tolik

I would certainly not mind being included in this company of deniers. Go ahead, call me a "denier".

11 posted on 02/09/2007 9:29:15 AM PST by aligncare (Beware the Media-Industrial Complex!)
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To: Tolik


12 posted on 02/09/2007 9:30:42 AM PST by BuffaloJack
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To: Tolik

Absolutely outstanding. Every global warming alarmist should be hit over the head with this.

13 posted on 02/09/2007 9:31:54 AM PST by dirtboy (Duncan Hunter 08)
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To: Tolik


14 posted on 02/09/2007 9:33:07 AM PST by Matchett-PI (To have no voice in the Party that always sides with America's enemies is a badge of honor.)
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To: All
I posted this before, but its too great to not to post again.
Richard A. Muller , Professor in the Physics Department at the University of California at Berkeley . He says about himself that he is concerned about global warming and thinks that human-created carbon dioxide may have contributed. But he is a scientist first of all (!), so he presents the data and analyses it and you can make your own conclusions from the data and his analysis. Highlights below are mine. (My browser would not open figures 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 but the links worked fine (?!?))

Here is his Brief introduction to the history of climate: see all the graphs: we are just a blimp in the Earth's history - there are forces that guided changes in the climate for many millennia before human civilization.

Read also his note on the famous hockey stick problem.

Richard A. Muller:

Beginning in the early 1900s, the climate of the world began to warm. This is evident in Figure 1-1, which shows the average Earth surface temperature from 1880 through 1999. The temperature is an area-weighted average over the land and ocean compiled by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, using an averaging technique devised by Quayle et al. ; see also . In the plot, "zero" temperature is defined as the temperature in 1950. The fine line shows the monthly temperatures; the thicker line shows the 12 month yearly averages.

The figure shows that the 20th century had a temperature rise of nearly one degree Celsius. That may not sound like a lot, but its effects are quite noticeable. In Europe, the great glaciers of the Alps, such as the Mer de Glace near Chamonix, have been in retreat, and the canals of Holland almost never freeze over, as they did in an earlier era to allow Hans Brinker to silver skate into legend. The effects elsewhere on the globe are more severe, with large areas of Central Africa, once fertile, becoming arid and no longer capable of supporting a large population. Although the reason for this warming is not fully understood, many climate scientists think it is the result of the addition of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by humans.

Figure 1-1 Global warming


As we go back in time in search of earlier records, the historical record becomes less reliable. Fortunately, Nature has provided its own recording mechanism. As we will explain in Chapter 4, measurements of oxygen isotopes yield an estimate of ancient temperatures combined with total global ice volume – a combination which is just as interesting as temperature alone, if not more so. Data from a kilometer long core taken from the Greenland glacier, as part of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project "GISP2" , are shown in Figure 1-2. For comparison purposes, the zero of temperature scale for this plot was set to match that of the previous plot. For historical interest, we marked some events from European history.

Figure 1-2 Climate of the last 2400 years


The cool period preceding the 20th century warming is now seen as a dip that lasted 700 years. This period is now referred to as "the little ice age." (The coldest periods, near 1400 and 1700, are sometimes called the two little ice ages.) In her popular account of the history of the 14th century, historian Barbara W. Tuchman, argues that the low temperatures triggered social conflict and poor food production, and was thus responsible for hunger, war, and possibly even pestilence . Just a few centuries prior, at the beginning of the second millennium, Europe had experienced the "medieval warm period" . It was a time when civilization emerged from the Dark Ages, art and painting flourished, and the wealth and new productivity of Europe allowed it to build the great cathedrals. Some historians will attribute this flowering to great leaders, or to great ideas, or to great inventions, but it is foolish to ignore the changes in climate. Just prior to that, in the 900s, the Vikings were invading France, possibly driven from the more northern latitudes by the cold temperatures of that century. The height of the Roman republic and empire was reached during another time of unusual warmth – even higher than the warm period of today, if the ice-reckoned temperature scale is accurate.

The next plot (Figure 1-3) shows the data from the Greenland ice core back to 10,000 BC. Near the right hand side of this plot, the little dip of the little ice age is clear. Some scientists argue that global warming is not human caused, but is simply a natural return to the normal temperature of the previous 8,000 years. In fact, no one knows for sure if this is right or not. But the foundation for thinking that human effects will cause warming is substantial. Even if the recent rise in temperature is natural, human caused effects have a high probability of dominating in the near future, and within our lifetimes the temperature of the Earth could go higher than has ever seen previously by Homo sapiens.

Figure 1-3 Climate of the last 12,000 years


The dip near 6000 BC is not understood. It actually appears to be coincident with a short term increase in temperature that took place in Antarctica! So we can't easily interpret everything in these plots, at least not without studying other records. Fluctuations are evident all over the plot, and crying to be understood.

Agriculture began about 7,000 BCE, as marked on the plot. All of civilization was based on this invention. Agriculture allows large groups of people to live in the same location. It allows a small number of people to feed others, so that the others can become craftsmen, artists, historians, inventors, and scientists.

The sudden rise at the left side of the plot, at about 9,000 BCE (i.e. 11,000 years ago), was the end of the last ice age. The abruptness of the termination is startling. Agriculture, and all of our civilization, developed since this termination. The enormous glacier, several kilometers thick, covering much of North America and Eurasia, rapidly melted. Only small parts of this glacier survived, in Greenland and Antarctica, where they exist to this day. The melting caused a series of worldwide floods unlike anything previously experienced by Homo sapiens. (There had been a previous flood at about 120 kyr, but that was before Homo sapiens had moved to Europe or North America.) The flood dumped enough water into the oceans to cause the average sea level to rise 110 meters, enough to inundate the coastal areas, and to cover the Bering Isthmus, and turn it into the Bering Strait. The water from melting ice probably flooded down over land in pulses, as ice-dammed lakes formed and then catastrophically released their water. These floods left many records, including remnant puddles now known as the Great Lakes, and possibly gave rise to legends that persisted for many years. As the glacier retreated, it left a piles of debris at its extremum. One such pile is now known as New York's Long Island.

In the next plot, Figure 1-4, we show the Greenland ice data for the last 100,000 years. The very unusual nature of the last 11,000 years stands out in striking contrast to the 90,000 years of cold that preceded it. We now refer to such an unusual warm period as an interglacial. The long preceding period of ice is a glacial. During the last glacial, humans developed elaborate tools, and Homo sapiens migrated from Africa to Europe. But they did not develop civilization until the ice age ended.

During the glacial, not only was the temperature lower by 8 Celsius (and some estimates put it at more than 12 Celsius – the record is a superposition of ice volume and temperature), but the climate was extremely irregular. The irregularities in temperature during the glacials, the wild bumps and wiggles that cover much of Figure 1-4, are real, not an artifact of poor measurement. The same bumps and wiggles are seen in two separate cores in Greenland, and in data taken from sea floor records found off the California coast. The ability to adapt quickly during this wild climate ride may have given a substantial advantage to adaptable animals, such as humans, and made it difficult for other large fauna to survive. Maybe it was these rapid changes, and not the rapaciousness of humans, that drove the mammoths, camels, giant ground sloths and giant beavers (the size of bears) of North America extinct. Recent global warming appears negligible on this plot. However, if predictions of climate modelers are correct, global warming temperature changes will be comparable those during the ice age.


Figure 1-4 Climate of the last 100,000 years



The reliable data from Greenland go back only as far as shown in Figure 1-4. We can continue the climate plot further back by using the records from Vostok, the Russian base in Antarctica, where another ice core was drilled. The last 420 thousand years of a deuterium measurement at Vostok is shown in Figure 1-5, with the most recent 100 kyr appended from the Greenland record (which is more detailed). The temperature scale was adjusted to agree with the scale on the Greenland record.

Figure 1-5 Climate for the last 420 kyr, from Vostok ice


From this plot, it is clear that most of the last 420 thousand years (420 kyr) was spent in ice age. The brief periods when the record peaks above the zero line, the interglacials, typically lasted from a few thousand to perhaps twenty thousand years.

These data should frighten you. All of civilization developed during the last interglacial, and the data show that such interglacials are very brief. Our time looks about up. Data such as these are what led us to state, in the Preface, that the next ice age is about to hit us, any millennium now. It does not take a detailed theory to make this prediction. We don't necessarily know why the next ice age is imminent (at least on a geological time scale), but the pattern is unmistakable.

The real reason to be frightened is that we really don't understand what causes the pattern. We don't know why the ice ages are broken by the short interglacials. We do know something – that the driving force is astronomical. We'll describe how we know that in Chapter 2. We have models that relate the astronomical mechanisms to changes in climate, but we don't know which of our models are right, or if any of them are. We will discuss these models in some detail in this book. Much of the work of understanding lies in the future. It is a great field for a young student to enter.

The ice records take us back only to 420,000 years in the past. However, oxygen isotope records in sea floor cores allow us to go further. One of the best sets of data comes from a location in the northern Atlantic Ocean known as the Ocean Drilling Project Site 607 . This site has climate data going back three million years, and is shown in Figure 1-6. But before you look at the figure, let us warn you. In the paleoclimate community, there is a convention that time is shown backwards. That is, the present is plotted on the left-hand edge, and the past is towards the right. We are going to use this opportunity to change our convention, for the remainder of the book, so that you will have less trouble reading the literature. (The literature of "global warming" scientists, in contrast, follows the other convention, which we have used up until now.) We apologize for this change in convention, but we do not take blame for it.

In Figure 1-6, the 10 kyr years of agriculture and civilization appear as a sudden rise in temperature barely visible squeezed against the left hand axis of the plot. The temperature of 1950 is indicated by the horizontal line. As is evident from the data, civilization was created in an unusual time.

There are several important features to notice in these data, all of which will be discussed further in the remainder of the book. For the last million years or so (the left most third of the plot) the oscillations have had a cycle of about 100 kyr (thousand years). That is, the enduring period of ice is broken, roughly every 100 kyr, by a brief interglacial. During this time, the terminations of the ice ages appear to be particularly abrupt, as you can see from the sudden jumps that took place near 0, 120, 320, 450, and 650 thousand years ago. This has led scientists to characterize the data as shaped like a "sawtooth," although the pattern is not perfectly regular.

Figure 1-6 Climate of the last 3 million years

But as we look back beyond a 1000 kyr (1 million years), the character changes completely. The cycle is much shorter (it averages 41 kyr), the amplitude is reduced, the average value is higher (indicating that the ice ages were not as intense) and there is no evidence for the sawtooth shape. These are the features that ice age theories endeavor to explain. Why did the transition take place? What are the meanings of the frequencies? (We will show that they are well-known astronomical frequencies.) In the period immediately preceding the data shown here, older than 3 million years, the temperature didn't drop below the 1950 value, and we believe that large glaciers didn't form – perhaps only small ones, such as we have today in Greenland and Antarctica.

As we end this brief introduction to the history of the ice ages, let's again look to the future. As soon as the cycle of the ice ages was known, scientists realized that the ice age would eventually return. Some of them enjoyed scaring the public about the impending catastrophe. In Figure 1-7 we show the cover from a magazine of the 1940s showing the consequences of the return of the ice age to New York City. (One of the authors of the present book, RAM, saw this image as a child, and it made a lasting impression.) Unfortunately, the art genre of returning ice has been superseded, in the public forum, by paintings of asteroids about to hit the Earth, usually with a curious dinosaur momentarily distracted by the unusual scene. But, as we mentioned earlier, the more likely scenario for the early 21 st century, is the continued gradual growth of global warming.

Figure 1 -7 The Ice Age returns to New York City

You may continue in Chapter 1 to read A Brief Introduction to Ice Age Theories, or A Brief Introduction to Spectra.

15 posted on 02/09/2007 9:38:34 AM PST by Tolik
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Fear and Complexity

The Independent Institute
San Francisco, CA
November 15, 2005

by Michael Crichton


Is this really the end of the world?  Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods?

No, we simply live on an active planet.  Earthquakes are continuous, a million and a half of them every year, or three every minute. A Richter 5 quake every six hours, a major quake every 3 weeks. A quake as destructive as the one in Pakistan every 8 months.  It’s nothing new, it’s right on schedule.

At any moment there are 1,500 electrical storms on the planet. A tornado touches down every six hours. We have ninety hurricanes a year, or one every four days. Again, right on schedule. Violent, disruptive, chaotic activity is a constant feature of our globe.

Is this the end of the world?  No: this is the world.

It’s time we knew it.

Continue here:

16 posted on 02/09/2007 9:41:50 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik


17 posted on 02/09/2007 9:42:00 AM PST by Codeflier (Implement Loser Pays)
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To: Tolik

Fantastic post. Kudos.

18 posted on 02/09/2007 9:57:18 AM PST by coloradan (Failing to protect the liberties of your enemies establishes precedents that will reach to yourself.)
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To: All

This comprehensive piece joins the other links I have on the subject which because of its global importance and what decisions which will be made that affects us all leads off my in my webpage. Intro to those links is a satirical piece I did where this question was posed to the Pope and his response, which I hope readers find humorous but covers the question and shoots down positions.

19 posted on 02/09/2007 10:12:03 AM PST by mosesdapoet
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To: Tolik

Tremendous rundown of the problems with the GW discipleship.

Thanks for posting this.

20 posted on 02/09/2007 10:42:28 AM PST by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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